In our ever changing eco world, one trend we see emerging is the switch to products that are either completely plastic free, a reduction in plastic or the elimination of single use plastic products. One category that has exploded has been the ditching of the plastic shampoo bottle for the eco savvy shampoo bar. There are some on the market that are made like soap, others that are made like shampoo, and for this second category in particular, like Goats Milk Soap back in the day, you want to store it dry in between uses and don't allow it to get damp all the time, otherwise they get a little smooshy. This blog post is our guide to eco friendly soap rests, storage tins and fabric bags.
Soap rests are just a base and allow some drainage from the bottom of the bar without offering any protection on the top. You will notice we haven't included any bamboo drainers in this post. We have had one and found they got mouldy far too quickly, at which point they are ruined and have to go in to your compost. Once we realised how rapidly this occurs, we stopped selling them. We're still trialing some wooden options but looking for something affordable and made sustainably and ethically. We prefer the two options below and are very happy with this small but very effective selection.
The Diatomite Drainer from Nuebar is our top pick in this category. It's made from Fossil Shell Flour (also known as diatomatious earth). It's lightweight, water wicks away from it quickly and it is very unlikely to get mouldy. You can store 2 bars on it flat or up to 5 bars standing on their edge, depending on the brand. To care for it, wash off the excess soap on a regular basis and it will dry for quickly each and every day it gets wet.
The Safix Soap Rest is made from natural coconut fibre and made the same way as their scourers. Liquid drains away easily and they're biodegradable at end of life. You will find it a little more difficult to get any soap remnants out of the middle of these long term, but they're cost effective, multi-functional and break down to nothing in your compost or vegie patch when you're done.
Choosing to use a soap container protects your soap bar or shampoo bar from the top. The ideal container will behave like a soap rest on the bottom, providing some drainage and a way for the bar to dry between uses. The team from Ethique have created the perfect container for their range. While it looks like a plastic box, it's actually made from bamboo and corn starch and perfectly fits one Ethique Shampoo Bar and one Ethique Conditoner Bar when you stand them on their side. Because the bars are square, if you're buying this for another brand of soap or shampoo bar, check the measurements first.
While we also love travel tins, and we do have one in store, they don't allow for drainage when the bar is wet and we recommend you only use them when your bars are dry.